florsheim vs cole haan

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There are a ton of reasons to go for the best when choosing dress shoes. For starters, everyone likes compliments.

Secondly, you want to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. It is quite unbelievable to see how far two big shoe brands have fallen but we can’t forget how great they have been.

If you are new to the modern brands, you are not too late. You can still get these shoes while they are still here in all their different dress shoe models including loafers, cap toe style and a wide range of styles to choose from. 

These are some nice dress classic shoes you can come across on the net. Unfortunately, they don’t come cheap. You will be spending a lot of money to lay your hands on these gems.

Before you do that, it’s nice to know which is best for you, right?

Major Difference Between Florsheim and Cole Haan Shoes

Comparing the top shoes from both brands, the biggest difference between the two is the Goodyear Welt in the Florsheim classic dress shoes. Cole Haan Shoes are mostly sneakers and, while their dress shoes have the design of a Goodyear Welt, the dress shoes are not welted.

The Goodyear welt is a kind of reinforcement stitched to the shoes to make them more durable.

This can be argued to be the reason Cole Haan classic Shoes are average in terms of durability but that won’t be in defense on a pair of Florsheim dress shoes that are considered less as good as the Cole Haan Shoes.

The two brands used to be considered to be some of the best but things took a downturn, especially in durability, for both.

Florsheim Classic Dress Shoe Reviews 

The Florsheim shoe brand has lasted a while in the industry, though it’s not enough to go out of business, dating back to 1892.

The company was founded by Milton Florsheim, who is said to have made the first pairs of shoes in Chicago with his father, Sigmund Florsheim.

After three years under the new modern company, Florsheim became a separate entity and succeeded in its production, even while its parent company was struggling.

In 2002, the Florsheim shoe company found its way back to the founding family, for a sum of $47 million, when the company almost went bankrupt. Twenty years later, the Florsheim company sadly ceased operation.

The quality of the shoes might make us want to question the company’s decision to stop operating.

A review says Florsheim classic shoes cannot be defeated if you want a long-lasting and comfortable pair of shoes. Another review calls them a good deal but “tricky sizing”. Many other reviews agree with this, complaining about the shoe being too narrow to accommodate a wide foot and causing discomfort.

While the Florsheim shoes are said to come true in size, they are not snug enough which should prevent hot spots and blisters. However, there is a reviewer that claims he has experienced blisters in these shoes, during the process of breaking in.

While one review claims the shoes are stiff and high-quality, boasting of ten years, another review says the quality of the leather on the upper sole is poor and tells you to beware of cracking.

These are contrasting reviews as you will find on every brand in every competitive industry. However, we will be concluding now.

Pros of Florsheim 

  • High-quality build
  • Goodyear welt
  • Durability
  • Wingtip design
  • Soft cushioning and arch support
  • Versatility
  • Made to prevent hot spots

Cons of Florsheim 

  • Inconsistency in sizing
  • Not the most comfortable
  • Untrusted quality

Cole Haan Dress Shoe Reviews

Cole Haan was established as a footwear brand for both men and women in 1928. The Company, originally named “Cole, Rood & Haan”, had started with two founders, Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, in Chicago.

The ownership of the brand was transferred to George Denney and his group of partners, in 1975. The change of ownership succeeded in shooting Cole Haan to a higher level among footwear brands in the U.S.

The brand ownership was transferred to Nike in 1988, for an undisclosed amount, and later sold to APAX Partners in 2012 for $570 million.

The Cole Haan company has evolved to produce more than just footwear and, today, it has two headquarters; one in New York City and the other in Greenland.

Cole Haan Dress shoes sometimes have rubber soles of sneakers in their casual shoe line which give them a more casual look than every other dress shoe.

The upper sole cannot be mistaken for sneaker shoes but the bottom sole and the heels are designed like sneakers.

You can find a midsole on your Cole Haan shoes which is uncommon for dress shoes but this provides equal comfort to the one you get from athletic boots.

A review says they look stylish and feel as comfortable as running shoes but they can be styled for work.

Another reviewer says he received compliments on the nice style of the shoes but the quality is extremely low for the price, claiming the insoles came loose after just two wears.

One of the reviewers claims to love the wingtip style but the fit is not perfect. According to him, the shoes are too narrow so, while they seem snug or tight by the sides, the toes may be loose. This is in contrast to another review that says the shoes fit perfectly right away.

Pros of Cole Haan dress shoes 

  • Highly comfortable and supportive
  • Versatility
  • Wingtip design
  • Goodyear welt look
  • Most fashionable

Cons of Cole Haan dress shoe

  • Untrusted durability
  • The Goodyear welt look is fake
  • Not accepted in the court

Head-to-Head Comparison

  • Construction Mode
  • Price
  • Build Quality
  • Insole
  • Outsole
  • Fit and Sizing

Construction Mode

The two brands are in the same industry so it’s normal for them to use virtually the same materials.

Both brands employ the use of leather and rubber for dress shoes. Suede is used mostly in sneakers but some dress shoes are made with it.

Cole Haan uses it in a much more fashionable way, having the wingtip design on the suede upper sole of some dress shoes. The brand also replaces Suede with a woven fabric called Stitchlite, sometimes.

While the Florsheim brand uses TPR (Thermo Plastic Rubber) for both midsoles and outsoles of shoes, Cole Haan has created a new rubber made from natural dandelions for the midsole.

Florsheim vs Cole Haan

 There are rarely any stitching problems with either of the shoes, though there are recurring complaints about quality. However, there are a few complaints about stitching and issues with repairing shoe soles.

Florsheim shoes have a Goodyear welt stitched to the outsoles. Cole Haan shoes do not. Sometimes, the stitching is not seen but sometimes, there is faux stitching that looks like a Goodyear welt on the outsoles.

Also, most Cole Haan shoes are cemented and that makes it hard to fix their soles, unlike the Florsheim shoes.

.Florsheim vs Cole Haan

Both shoes have a similar build. Some dress shoes from both brands have logger heels as most dress shoes do.

Some of their dress shoes come in a wedged style like sneakers, making them more fashionable. Although, Cole Haan dress shoes seem to look better in terms of Fashion.

Bottom Line: Comparing the construction modes of both shoes, Florsheim dress shoes can be considered better.

While Cole Haan shoes do better with fashion, even having no stitch and looking seamless with the design, Florsheim shoes don’t only look great but they add an effort for quality.

With actual stitching, Florsheim shoes can be repaired and given new soles. Asides from the stitching, Florsheim shoes have a Goodyear welt to ensure durability.

Price and Budget

Both brands are expensive and, according to the massively critical reviews, some of the shoes may cost more than the quality deserves. However, Florsheim shoes were known for quality shoes.

Equally, Cole Haan shoes were said to last up to seven years and even more. It turns out the quality of the shoes may have gone down while the prices went up.

Some reviews negate this and defend the pricey shoes, testifying to the poor quality of the lower-priced items.

Cole Haan shoes cost as much as $300 and can be as low as $68. Florsheim shoes cost as much as $420 and can be even lower than the least price of Cole Haan shoes at $60 but the quality of the shoes goes downhill with the prices.

Florsheim vs Cole Haan

Bottom Line: Comparing the prices of both shoes, Cole Haan shoes may take the lead. This is because they cost less than Florsheim shoes while the durability is often compared to be the same, despite the build quality of the Florsheim shoes.

Build Quality

Both brands have been accused of cheap construction materials while they claim to use good leather and rubber for their shoes.

Although some testify to the high quality of some shoes, they never fail to mention the high prices that follow.

Cole Haan shoes wear the design of a Goodyear welt probably to deceive. Also, they use the cheapest method of putting the shoes together which is cementing.

This proves the shoes were not built to last forever which is why they cannot be fixed. However, customers often claim to get good quality when they pay a high amount while some say the quality is not worth the pay.

Florsheim shoes make use of the real Goodyear welt design which should make them a lot more durable.

However, they are still accused of using cheap materials for their shoes while some defend the higher-priced shoes in the Florsheim collection.

Florsheim vs Cole Haan

Bottom Line: Comparing the build quality of both shoes, Florsheim shoes take the lead.

They don’t only have a Goodyear welt construction which doesn’t meet up with the expected durability but they are stitched and that makes them repairable, unlike the Cole Haan cemented shoes.


Florsheim vs Cole Haan

Florsheim shoes use orthotic insoles with a leather footbed and TPR midsoles which ensure good grip and nice comfort.

The leather footbed is breathable, though it’s not the most comfortable. The Orthotic insoles are not arched. That makes them take up more space in the shoes without fitting perfectly well.

Cole Haan shoes use Grand OS insoles and EVA foam midsoles. They have upgraded to dandelion rubber insoles which are a lot lighter than the EVA foam midsoles that they use in most of their models including loafers and cap toe. 

The Grand OS insoles provide a rebound, similar to the ones you get in running shoes. This maximizes comfort for your feet and the hard rubber at the heels and toes makes sure the shoes don’t break down early.

Bottom Line: Comparing the insoles of both shoes, Cole Haan shoes are better and more comfortable than the Florsheim shoes. Asides from the structure of the insoles, the reviews also confirm this.


Florsheim vs Cole Haan

The upper soles of Florsheim dress shoes are usually made of leather, while the outsole is made of Thermoplastic Rubber which provides traction on all floors.

However, Florsheim dress shoes are reviewed to not be full-grain. Rather, they are corrected and polished to look smooth which makes them less durable. The Florsheim Kenmore shoes are said to use full-grain leather, though they cost more.

Cole Haan upper soles have a special fabric called Stitchlite which offers breathability and comfort. Though the durability of the fabric is not guaranteed, some reviewers claim to have had the shoes for over 9 months without issues.

The Outsoles make use of the EVA foam in sneakers, maximizing the comfort and firm support on the ground. Also, it makes for a lightweight feel.

Bottom Line: Comparing the outsoles of both shoes, Cole Haan shoes take the lead. While the Florsheim leather shoes should be more durable, they are still compared to the Cole Haan shoes, with more risks of cracking.

Cole Haan shoes are not only stylish with the look but also very comfortable.

Fit and Sizing

Both shoes run slightly large by half a size. If you will be going for Florsheim or Cole Haan shoes, you should size them down by a half to ensure the perfect fit. Else, the shoes will feel large.

Both shoes are reviewed to be comfortable once you find the perfect size. 

Bottom Line: Comparing the fit and Sizing of the shoes, this would be a tie. This is because they both fit snugly, as long as you go down by half a size. Also, neither of the shoes requires a long break-in period.

Florsheim vs Cole Haan: The Better Dress Shoes

After a critical review of the major parts of these shoes, we can agree the Cole Haan shoes are better.

There is no doubt the Florsheim shoes are quite better in some cases. While the Florsheim shoes are built to last, their durability is still not guaranteed.

To get the most durable shoes from these brands, you have to pay a high amount in Florsheim and Cole Haan stores.

The Cole Haan shoes cost less and, while they are not easily repaired, the Florsheim shoes cost more but have issues with cracking leather which cannot be easily repaired either.

The Cole Haan shoes are more fashionable and versatile, though the Florsheim shoes are close behind.

The advice is to get the expensive Cole Haan shoes and maintain them for as long as the seven years they are rumored to last.


Many may want to choose repairable shoes while hoping the cracks don’t appear. However, if you will be going for comfort, Cole Haan shoes cannot be defeated by Florsheim shoes, even though they are not the best in the market.


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